Mr Albert George Ervine

Albert Ervine

Albert George Ervine was born in Clifton, North Belfast, Co Antrim, Ireland (modern-day Northern Ireland) on 2 August 1893. He was the son of Albert Ervine (b. 1860), a poor rate collector, and Helen Jane Gowans (b. 1862). His mother was born in Perthshire, Scotland and his father was from Co Down and they had married around 1887.

Albert had five siblings: William Gowans (b. 1887), Emilie Margarite (b. 1889), Helen Clement (b. 1897), Maxwell Clement (b. 1900) and Basil Sidney (b. 1905). Albert's parents belonged to the Brethren sect of Christianity but he and his siblings appear to have been raised without denomination, although Albert was later identify as a Protestant in the 1911 census, perhaps to identify himself as a Unionist when, at the time, Ireland was facing the Home Rule Crisis.

Albert first appears on the 1901 census of Ireland. The family were then living at 1 Old Cavehill Road, North Belfast in the Clifton Ward. He was educated at the nearby Belfast Royal Academy, followed by the Methodist (Methody) College in South Belfast, and then the Municipal Technical Institute. He spent part of his apprenticeship with Coombe, Barber & Coombe before going to the Harland & Wolff shipyard to study marine electrics. By the time of the 1911 census Albert and his family were now living at 16 Old Cavehill Road, Belfast and he was described as an electrician.

Ervine was engaged upon electrical work on the Titanic during her construction and also on the Orient Line`s Maloja. He served on board the Maloja during her maiden voyage and then joined the White Star Line, being appointed to the Titanic alongside his friend Alfred Pirrie Middleton, Assistant Electrician, who, like Albert's parents, was a member of the Brethren. Indeed, both men reportedly petitioned the White Star line to be transferred to the Titanic for her maiden voyage.

He was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed on again, in Southampton, on 6 April 1912, Albert gave his address as Merryfield, Belfast and his previous ship as the Maloja. As electrician he could expect monthly wages of £8. At 18-years, he was the youngest among the engineering department.

He penned his mother a letter which was posted in Queenstown. In it he described the near-New York collision (although he incorrectly identified the ship as Oceanic) from his vantage point at the top of the aft funnel, and also the testing of the watertight doors. He went on to reassure his family that the Titanic could not sink, such was her fortification.

Ervine died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. His mother later emigrated to Florida following the death of her husband and she died there in the 1940s.



Photograph of Albert George Ervine

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Link and cite this biography

(2017) Albert George Ervine Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1475, updated 20th August 2017 18:52:01 PM)

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